If you would have told me four years ago, that today, I’d be wrestling a tiny, wild human onto a time out for the millionth time because he keeps flipping off the back of the couch, I would have laughed. I won’t be “that” mom. I’ll be the calm and collected one. You know, the one with the well behaved, perfectly dressed children?
I won’t be the mom who’s running down the isles of a grocery store after their toddler escaped from the shopping cart, or begging the same child to stop yelling “help” out of the window just because it’s time for bed. I won’t be the mom who’s crying because she feels like she’s losing a never ending battle. But, I am. I’m the reason people use the ugly term “that mom.” I was blessed with a wild child.
“He just needs more discipline,” they say. “You’re the mom. Make him sit still.” “Why are you letting him behave that way?” “Maybe you should stop feeding him sugar.” “You should be more strict, more patient, more active, more authoritative…” You get the point.
People aren’t sure how to handle my son. I get it. Most of the time I don’t either. But, while they are busy worrying about how high his energy level is and what they would do to better parent him, they miss something. They miss how kind and thoughtful he is. How genuinely he says, “Thank you.” They miss how sensitive his feelings are and how curious and smart his little brain is. They miss seeing the little, blue eyed boy that wants to be friends with everyone.
I knew at 6 months that he was going to give me a run for my money. While other babies his age were content sitting in a circle playing, I was chasing him up stairs and dragging him back from wherever he had scurried off too. Sitting down with him was just not an option. That hasn’t changed.
Most days with him are hard. Very hard. He has the strongest will I’ve ever seen and enough energy and determination to wear out the Energizer Bunny. But, in-between the difficult times and the tears are some of the most beautiful moments I will ever experience. I would not change my wild child for anything, and have learned more from him than most of the adults in my life.
What I’ve learned from my wild child:
- The world is a beautiful and curious place. Go out and explore. Ask question. Ask more questions.
- Boredom is for the unimaginative. There is never a dull moment with my son. Anything can be a pirate ship and creativity feeds the soul.
- Not everyone wants to be your friend, and that’s ok. My son is the first one to walk up to other kids on the play ground and immediately ask them if they want to be his friend. Sometimes they run off and play together and other times he gets the cold shoulder. He doesn’t let that bother him. He knows he’s pretty fantastic and will make other friends, and he always does.
- Never give up on what you want. Know what you want in life and go after it. Determination will get you much farther than sitting idly by. Push boundaries and test limits. You never know how far you can go unless you try. And, never give up on your dreams.
- Make yourself heard. Use your voice. Speak up for others, and for yourself. Say “thank you” and ask “how can I help?” Mean what you say. Smile at strangers. Take the time to call an old friend and see how they are doing. Send thank you cards.
- Laughter is the best medicine. A good laugh can fix almost anything and dry up the majority of tears. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with others. Find the humor in bad situations.
- It’s ok to be different. We are all unique and weird. Don’t be discouraged that you are not like everyone else. Acknowledge your strengths and know that you are special. Accept others and treat everyone with respect.
- Live in the moment. Life is happening RIGHT NOW. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Savor good memories but don’t dwell in the past. Let mistakes and hurt go. Stop worrying so much.
- Love hard and fierce. Say, “I love you” more often than necessary. Hug tightly.
- The world needs more wild ones and more people to accept them. This world was made for the wild ones; the dreamers, the go-getters, the movers and shakers. They are the ones that will make a difference. Don’t drag them down.
If you are the parent of a wild one, I’m here. You are not alone, even when it feels like you are. I know what it’s like to feel like you must be failing and not sure how you’ll make it through the day. I know how much you love and admire your child. I know you are doing the best you can and that is enough.
My son is the love of my life. Most days I’m not sure if I’ll survive until bedtime, but he is the best thing I’ve ever created. I never want to dull his flame or allow the world to try and change him. He’s a wild one and I love him.
Do you know a wild one? What have they taught you? Share a comment below!
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